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Canada Europe Trade Agreement opens up exciting new opportunities

Canada Europe Trade Agreement opens up exciting new opportunities

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Published by: EU-Canada Partnership on Nov 08, 2013
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11/4/13The Varsity » Canada Europe Trade Agreement opens up exciting new opportunitiesthevarsity.ca/2013/11/04/canada-europe-trade-agreement-opens-up-exciting-new-opportunities/1/4
Volume CXXXIV, No. 09University of Toronto's Student Newspaper Since 1880
Canada Europe Trade Agreement opens upexciting new opportunities
CETA treaty a welcome addition to Canada’s internationaltrade horizon
Yves Messy
 Published: 12:22 am, 4 November 2013Vol
, No.
he Canada Europe Trade Agreement (CETA) has the potentialto give a substantial boost to the Canadian economy; it justmight serve as the template for a brave new standard of international trade treaty-making. The Harper government mustinsist on effective arbitration mechanisms, clear safeguards forcultural industries, and effective provincial participation during theratification process in order for this gift to fulfill its promise; thelongevity of the prime minister’s legacy depends on this.While the jury is still out on just how much of an impact the NorthAmerican Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) had on Canada’seconomy, many critics are keen to emphasize that it hurts Canadian workers just as it allows the United States a substantial, uncheckedhold on our natural resources. American counterparts, too,expressed discontent with the treaty during a succession of USelections. Several American politicians, including President BarackObama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, openly calledfor renegotiating nafta over concerns that the international treatyundermined the country’s labour market.Given the lengthy consultations that led up to the conclusion of NAFTA, CETA is sure to address many of these concerns. The treatyplaces particular focus on service trading, with groundbreakingimplications for labour mobility between Canada and the rest of North America, the world’s largest economic area.The text of the agreement is not currently available, but the natureof the document at the end of negotiations on October 18 allows forCanadian access to the bidding process for European governmentappropriations and procurement contracts. Thanks to firms such asBombardier, Canada is a leader in transportation, oil and gas, anddefence procurement expertise. This change is sure to reward coreCanadian economic strengths.The treaty also features significant opportunities for labour mobility
Yves Messy
Governing Council chair & @
alum Judy Goldring and her family have givenover $10 million to #UofT |
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11/4/13The Varsity » Canada Europe Trade Agreement opens up exciting new opportunitiesthevarsity.ca/2013/11/04/canada-europe-trade-agreement-opens-up-exciting-new-opportunities/2/4
between Canada and the European Union; it gives Canadian workers preferential access to two of the world’s largest trade zones,a bounty that cannot be ignored. Work visa, intellectual property,and professional certification standards are also being harmonizedto make it easier for Canadian labour expertise to sell in theEuropean market.In exchange, rules governing European investment and acquisitionof Canadian firms are slimming, streamlined and simplified, with nosecurity or Ministry of Finance review necessary, so long as they are valued under $1.5 billion. Seventy per cent of GDP increases in theG8 come from intellectual property and services-related industries,so ceta is a welcome boost for those industries as a growth factor.The many benefits of CETA are conditional on key safeguards, andthe Harper government is highly unlikely to stand up for them.Should it fail to do so, CETA is sure to stand as a missed opportunitythat exposes protected and essential Canadian industries to costlyabuse on the tax payer’s dime.CETA needs new and improved arbitration mechanisms that allow Canadian businesses to protest violations and abuses of its bindingrules.NAFTA failed that test several times by allowing the United States touse sophisticated, non-tariff barriers to trade, and to violate anti-subsidies rules in the face of a weak and ineffective trade arbitrationprocess.Europe is full of economies with a much larger footprint on theglobal economy than individual Canadian provinces. Withoutsufficient emphasis by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and ForeignMinister Ed Fast, the ratification of CETA will only add a Europeandimension to this already substantial burden on Canadian taxpayers.Overall, CETA is a welcome addition to Canada’s international tradehorizon. It is sure to add to Stephen Harper’s legacy as a primeminister. Its wording, the issues it addresses, and its format alreadyinform other bilateral and global trade agreements in the making,like the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty.At a time when the United States and Europe are slowly makingtheir way back to the forefront of global growth, this treaty gives theCanadian taxpayer greater disposable income and an even greaterrange of opportunities. These opportunities come at a great cost touncompetitive Canadian industries, federal-to-provincialcooperation to mitigate this impact is sure to make CETA a reallygood deal.
Yves Messy is in his fourth year studying political science.
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